May Wrap Up – I Made It Out Alive (Somewhat) From IGCSE Season, Read A Lot of Books + I’m Back From Hiatus!

So, as you can tell from the title, I’m back from hiatus!

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I’ve made it through most of my IGCSE exams (somewhat) alive, and … let’s not talk about them lmao. That period of my life is mostly over until results day is over.

Also, this month (and in the time I was away on hiatus) I reached 200 WordPress followers and 400 followers overall, which is awesome! It really blows my mind that 400 of you all are genuinely interested in reading my ramblings while I stumble through blogging. At the time of writing this, I’m close to 450 overall followers, which is pretty dope. I’ll probably do something for 500 overall followers, but I’m not sure. We’ll see.


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EMOJI KEY:

☀️ lead / major side characters of color
🏳️‍🌈 
lgbtq lead / major side characters
🌸 neurodiversity and trauma
♿️ disability

 New Release Challenge
💨 Beat the Backlist
📚 Back to the Classics
🌷 #Bookiary2019
📖 Library Love Challenge
🌍 #YARC2019
🎧 Audiobook Challenge 2019

So May was actually a surprisingly good reading month, with me reading 12 books. I think a lot of it was because I was listening to a lot of audiobooks + was on hiatus, which sped up my reading! It is actually really weird because I fell into a mini reading slump on the third week of May and I was expected to read barely anything because of IGCSEs. I don’t know, it was wild.

I also read quite a few books written by Asian authors, which I really wanted to prioritize in May as it was Asian Pacific Heritage Month, but my mood did not completely vibe with it, so I only read 5 books for that (I was hoping to read at least 7 or so).

Also, I finished my Harry Potter audio reread this month. You all, I tried to hold back and do one book a month, but it just did NOT happen. I was on a Harry Potter high and also lowkey went into a hangover after, reading so many fanfics (which ya girl hasn’t done for years) and watching all the clips for the books. I’m just a mess.

On to the books!

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K Rowling ★★★★☆ (4.25, audio reread) 💨📖🎧 // This was such a great addition to the series, but definitely not my favourite. I get why this is so many people’s favorites though.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★☆ 💨📖🎧 // I decided to reread this by listening to the audiobook, which was a great choice. Flawed characters + fake famous people + TJR = a power combination.

The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu ★☆ (4.25) ☀️🏳️‍🌈✨🌍 // I have the pretty Waterstones edition of this and it is my BABY. Bit too reminiscent of The Mortal Instruments for my tastes, but I ADORED the traveling aspect of it!

A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi ★☆ (4.25) ☀️💨🌍 // I binged this over two days, and this was so compellingly readable which I loved? I enjoyed the romance more than I thought I was going to, and we love angry girls. Because yes.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) by J.K Rowling 💨📖🎧 // I legitimately nearly teared up three times and omg I love this series so much?? This is definitely my favourite installment. It is SUCH a satisfying conclusion which I will always love.

The Devil Tavern (Chain of Gold Extra Content, #1) by Cassandra Clare ★☆☆ // This is literally 5 pages long, so I can’t say much, but I can’t wait for the rest of the installments!

With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo ★☆ (4.25) ☀️ // I think I loved this more than the Poet X? I love Emoni as a character, the inclusion of cooking and teen pregnancy, but found the romance unnecessary and dull.

Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan ★☆☆ (ARC, 3.5) ☀️✨🌍 // This was pretty enjoyable and I loved the Chinese representation and the romance! However, it did feel a bit like 2 books smushed into one and there were a bunch of pacing issues. Look out for my full blog tour review to come on the 16th!

Prince Charming (Royals, #1) by Rachel Hawkins ★★★★☆ (4.5) 💨 // WOW I liked this so much more than I expected? I had super low expectations going in but it came out being such a cute, quick and swoony royal (ish) romance. Definitely one of the biggest surprises of the year! And yes, that cover change definitely did it a favor 😍

Her Royal Highness (Royals, #2) by Rachel Hawkins ★☆ (4.25) ✨🏳️‍🌈// I think I liked this less than Prince Charmin because I had much higher expectations going into it + I was coming off the high that I had gotten from Prince Charming? I did enjoy the boarding school setting and the characters themselves, and this was super cute!

Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward Children, #1) by Seanan McGuire (audio reread) ★☆☆ (3.5) 🏳️‍🌈💨📖🎧 // I’m so disappointed this didn’t hold up as a favourite? Maybe it was because I was recovering from being sick

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1) by Elizabeth Lim (ARC) ★☆ (4.5) ☀️✨🌍 // Okay I think this is my favourite book of the month? It was so difficult to put down and I was so invested in the plot and the world (especially that first half). Ya girl was fortunate enough to get an ARC for the blog tour and is so excited about it. A full review to come in July!


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In May, I was on blog hiatus so I only published a few posts before fully going away to prepare for exams. I wish I could have scheduled more, but I think this break was very beneficial for me. I did feel a little bit of blogging slump coming (and I feel that a bit right now), so while I have many posts I want to write, I’m going to be kind to myself and write as much as I can, and write posts that I genuinely am looking forward to write. This might mean taking another hiatus (or semi-hiatus, as I was still active on Twitter and semi-active on Goodreads) from the blog.

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Also, in other blogging news, my blog (i.e my 5-star crisis post) was chosen as the Blog of the Day by Dave over at the Write Reads on Twitter! It was such a sweet and touching thing, and I truly enjoyed the discussion my post was able to generate. Dave is seriously such a wonderful and kind person and I seriously appreciate his support of the blog. And some of y’all were so kind and supportive during that day that my little cold heart was filled with so much wholesomeness? I cannot even *cries + heart emoji*

Anyways, on to the (very few posts) that I posted in May, all of which were the standard Hiatus things I guess *shrug emoji*

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Even though I was on hiatus, I still managed to read and see some wonderful posts (mostly via Twitter and sometimes, the WordPress Reader) that I loved and appreciated with all my heart!


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  • So like I’ve mentioned countlessly, May was when I sat most of my IGCSES
  • And y’all, exam season/IGCSE Season was WILD (case in point: that first text in English Language Paper 22, May/June 2019. If you know you know)
  • However, the big perk was that I joined a couple of IGCSE group chats, which was really nice and I made some great friends (who are some of my besties now) from that chat who I love and will forever support!! (Does this go to show that there’s a diamond in the rough? Look, I’m not an optimist so I’m not great at these positive metaphors lmao)
  • I also went on blog hiatus because of this! It was, quite honestly pretty refreshing to not have to worry about writing and posting posts by a certain date, and could just entirely focus on my iGCSEs. I’m not super motivated to blog right now, so I’m coming out of hiatus to try to push myself out of it tbh.
  • But overall, May was a bit of a weird month.
  • I also fell pretty sick for a few days. This is pretty wild especially considering I rarely get sick, and it was super annoying because I had to do a 90 minute literature exam on the day I got sick. Thanks, universe.
  • I’ve been doing a lot of introspective thinking and reflecting on life and the people I choose to surround myself with, and that has been … a lot
  • I’m just honestly tired with people in general. Which is lowkey a mood but this especially applies now. (I’m sorry to end this on a negative note, but I don’t know what to say, my life was pretty boring this month).

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MUSIC

May in terms of music was a lot of re-discoveries (like music that I listened to and liked but that I now love), so it wasn’t as great as March. I need all the music recs so please let me know your favourites!

I also listened to some of Elise’s playlists on Spotify (who I love so much and has god-like music taste) which you should also do, and found a bunch of my favourites this month from that!

My favourite album this month was likely Lorde’s Pure Heroine (extended)! I’m not sure why I enjoyed this album as much as I did, all I know is that Lorde is a queen.

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  1. Don’t Take The Money by Bleachers
  2. The Night We Met by Lord Huron
  3. 13 Beaches by Lana del Rey
  4. bitches broken hearts by Billie Eilish
  5. Team by Lorde
  6. Royals by Lorde
  7. Dear John by Taylor Swift
  8. Ribs by Lorde

WHAT I WATCHED

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)
(★☆ and ★☆ respectively)

I was in a need of something to cure my post-Harry Potter reading hangover and was looking for a comfort rewatch, and it only made sense to watch the adaptations. I love the cast and the visuals so much, and both of them have always held a special place in my heart. The second one feels more like a filler film and kind of dull, I just don’t have much to say about it. The third one was great too, especially those visuals! I’m salty they got rid of the Quidditch plot, because that was my favourite part of PoA. But that timetimer scene was really well done for sure! Also, that punch. That. Punch.


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  • Get through. Exams. So I got out somehow alive? In all honesty, it wasn’t as bad as I expected (ya girl got through four exams in a day and is still so proud of herself for doing that). ✔️
  • Slay Exams, Sis. I think I failed in so many of my exams (if not, didn’t do very well or as well as I felt that I could have and I am SO frustrated). Every time I think about getting my results back, I genuinely want to cry. Even writing this kind of makes me want to break down there and now. Two years of work cumulated in this. This really is depressing, and I … don’t really want to think about this lmao. ✔️
  • Don’t break down, and breathe. Even though I did not do well as I had hoped in exams, but mental-health-wise I was doing pretty good! I’m quite pleased with this tbh. ✔️
  • Try to keep my project up. Why am I a failure to society. I don’t know.  
  • Sort out schools, or at least figure out what’s going on. Plans are settled. Not sure where this is going, but at least the ball is rolling. ✔️ 

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  • Use my voice. This sounds kind of vague, but I’m using this as a blanket term (is that the term?) for both actually standing up for myself and also standing up against people’s racist/homophobic/transphobic/misogynistic/bigot views. I mean, I have a voice for a reason, right?
  • Identify toxic relationships. This is one of my 2019 goals, but it became even more apparent in May that this is something very real in my life. And I want to actually get something done about it, because I’m not here for it anymore.
  • Connect more with people online. On a more positive note, I really want to connect more with you all online, especially on the blog and on Twitter! Because I truly love and appreciate you a lot, and you all are the best ❤
  • Ease back into blogging. After taking my hiatus, I was feeling a bit of dread when I was thinking about returning to blogging. I want to try to ease myself back into blogging by taking it easy and writing content that I’m genuinely excited to write.
  • Save at least $5-10 a week. I’m not very good at saving and managing money, and I want to get better at it. So what I’m going to try and do is to save around 5 to 10 dollars from my weekly allowance, and the idea is that it will add up so that I can have some of my own savings.
  • Just breathe. Something I am very good at, on the other hand, is rapidly getting stressed out and not making space to breathe. But in June, especially with summer coming up (!!!), I want to take some time every day to just breathe and be (as cheesy as that sounds). This may include doing some breathing exercises, but I’m really not sure.
  • Take some off-days. This links with the goal above and I think this is something considerably more feasible, especially in the second half of the month. Since this is something I basically never get to do during the school year, I want to schedule in some days where I do nothing except read, stay in bed, watch something and/or just schedule something fun. We’ll see how this one goes.
  • Organize my own spaces. Admittedly, my organization of my own spaces fell on the wayside in April and May, and I want to work on creating systems that work for me over the long-term as well as just organize myself. Honestly, it is so satisfying to have everything organized.

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School will (finally) be over for the year! This is very bittersweet, but I’m also happy. Because summer. I have so many things I want to read and watch, and I just want to chill out the whole summer.  And I have some pretty exciting summer plans. *screams*

I might be leaving the country a couple of times this month? These trips aren’t 1000% confirmed yet, but I’m super nervous but also excited.

I have a bunch of assessments and one final IGCSE exam to complete. I’m highkey salty that I have to do all the end-of-year assessments after completing all those IGCSEs, because ya girl is EXHAUSTED. Like, why. I’m effectively done after the 12th so I’ll be celebrating then!

Like I said earlier, I’m going to try and ease back into blogging! I have so much content that I’m excited to write and I’m just happy to begin blogging again!


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How was May for you? What was your favorite book that you read this month, and what did you read? Bloggers, what were some of your favorite posts this month? Feel free to share them here! Did you set goals last month, and how did you do on them?

I would love to know.

I hope June treats you all well.

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25 thoughts on “May Wrap Up – I Made It Out Alive (Somewhat) From IGCSE Season, Read A Lot of Books + I’m Back From Hiatus!

  1. okay im so happy for u that ur exams are over!! i actually wasn’t that stressed out but only i had 2 to sit this year and u had like 1000 so yeah. PURE HEROINE IS REALLY GREAT AND IM GLAD YOU LOVE LORDE BC I STAN HER SO HARD. i LOVE ribs SOO much. 400 lux makes me feel so nostalgic omg. glory and gore reminds of a YA fantasy book? and the love club, dancing in this world alone and white teeth teens are masterpieces. royals is good but i replayed it so much i got a little tired of it. if you can, watch her vevo live preformances of songs from melodrama on youtube IT WILL HIT U IN THE FEELS I SWEAR. ALSO BITCHES BROKEN HEARTS BY BILLIE EILISH is fantastic and so underrated. it’s such a 3am song and i adore it. I FINALLY listened to billie eilish’s new album, WHEN WE FALL ASLEEP WHERE DO WE GO? and it’s honestly very epic!! My favourites would be my strange addiction (So catchy!), xanny (I SCREAM ALONG TO THE CHORUS ALL THE TIME) and all the good girls go to hell (so strange but GOOD). I am in love with her sound!!! sorry this was just me ranting about music!! i love you so much, i hope you take time for self-care in june ❤ and take blogging at ur own pace if ur not feeling up to it ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lmao i lied i have one more regular school exam + one more iGCSE help me ilsa!! how were yours this year? you’re going to do great on your exams next year for sure!

      AHHH Pure Heroine is great! I do need to give it a relisten since I haven’t listened to it for a bit and I defo need to get more into Lorde! I gotta relisten to ribs and 400 lux for sure! the album feels super cathartic tbh. i just need to relisten to EVERYTHING.

      BITCHES BROKEN HEARTS IS AMAZING OMG I STAN BILLIE!! It’s defo an amazing 3am song and now I fully appreciate it! Her new album is amazing and I ADORE it! Ooo Xanny in particular is EXCELLENT!

      I love you so much too Ilsa, you’re so lovely ahh 💖 I’m so bad at self-care but I’ll try this June! I’m starting to feel better about blogging so hopefully this keeps up? All my love ❤

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  2. Omg I get the feeling of not doing as well as I hoped to in exams so much!! I really think that it’s because I let myself space out in class and tell myself that I’ll teach myself the lesson so it’ll be find anyway, so the night before the test, I’m cramming everything. That’s something I’m really planning to get better about once the next school year arrives.
    I’m currently reading Stronger than a Bronze Dragon, and I actually do have to pick up the pace because I’m only fifty pages in and I have to post my blog tour stop on the twelfth. I’m enjoying the world and I like Anlei a lot so far though! I’m also on the Spin the Dawn blog tour and ahhhh I’m so so happy that you enjoyed it so much because I heard a few not great things about it 😦 I’ve heard a lot of reviews call A Very Large Expanse of Sea romance-heavy, and that does not bode well for me because I am very picky about romance, but I’m glad to know that you were okay with it! I recently purchased a copy and I can’t wait to read it!
    I hope you can fight the blogging burn-out and take the steps that’s best for your health! Don’t be too bummed about your exams (I should really take my own advice lmao). And YES I love the concept of rest days!! I’ve had a few of them and they’re the best!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG I do that too and it’s the worst habit honestly, why do we do this to ourselves 😦 I’m going to try and make sure I don’t space out in class and do all my notes as soon as I finish a topic so I don’t rush finishing my notes a week before the exam!

      I’m glad you’re liking Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon, and I can’t wait to see your stop on the tour! And I hope you enjoy A Very Large Expanse of Sea, it’s a great story and it was so difficult to put down.

      I think I’m fighting the blogger burnout quite well and I’ve scheduled a whole bunch of posts, which makes me so happy!! I’m bracing myself for results day (i.e planning a full pity party with lots of ice creams) and I’m terrified but hopefully everything will be okay! I really need to schedule some rest days (which will be more feasible with summer coming!) and I can’t wait for them ahhh. Have an amazing day and happiest of reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Aahh, I’m so sorry about all the stress you felt over your exams, Taasia! I’m sure you did well, and if not, I hope you know your worth truly does not come from grades and that you’re still a wonderful, capable, smart person!! Also, I feel so bad we didn’t get to buddy read any books last month, since we read three of the same books! I’m glad you had an overall great reading month though — I can’t wait to see your full thoughts on Spin the Dawn since I adored that book as well!! I hope you’re able to come back to blogging (at your own pace!) and take some moments to breathe this month ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. May, this first part is so lovely and absolutely made my day, how are you so sweet 😭❤ It’s a shame that we didn’t get to buddy read anything, and I would definitely love to buddy read something in the future! I loved STD and I’m so glad you loved it too – I couldn’t put it down, and I can’t wait to see your stop of the tour! I think I’m starting to ease back into blogging quite well and I’m so glad! Thank you for the well-wishes and take some time to take care of yourself in June too ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. HI HELLO WELCOME BACK AHHH ❤
    You've read SO many books I admire you so much wow; I'm so happy you liked Daisy Jones, I so want to read this one, especially after adoring Evelyn Hugo so much. and I can't wait to read Spin The Dawn, it sounds WAY too good!
    I'm sorry to hear that May was a little tiring and that you've been feeling a bit, overwhelmed overall, I'm always a message away if you need to rant or anything! Sending you tons of love and hoping for a bright month! ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so excited to be back and to interact with everyone! I hope you like Daisy Jones – it’s not as great as Evelyn but still a great and fascinating book in its own right. STD really is great and I can’t wait until it releases so everyone can read it!
      May was kind of a mess tbh but thanks for your well-wishes! You’re truly the sweetest and I am blessed to be able to call you a friend. Sending you the love right back and I hope you have an amazing June ❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. AH you read so much this month especially with exams too omg, my reading completely fell to the side and I didn’t even have as many exams as you did 😂 And you’re amazing no matter how your exams went, but I completely believe in you 💕 Also, I’m so excited for Spin the Dawn now!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it ahah. It sucks May has been so rough, but hopefully June will be better ❤️❤️

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    1. Ah thank you! I tried (I probs failed/barely passed my exams lmao) 😂 Ilysm and I’m so grateful that I can call you a friend ❤❤ I can’t wait for you to read Spin the Dawn and I hope that you love it too! I hope June will be better too, we’ll see how it goes :/ Have an amazing June and the happiest of reading, ilyy 💖💖

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  6. Welcome back Taasia and congrats on being done with exams!! I’m really proud of you. And it looks like you read some great books!! I’m doing an HP audio reread right now and I am LOVING it. Also I seriously have to read Daisy Jones soon ahhh, there’s so much hype. I’ll have to get to that eventually lol. And thank you very, very much for sharing my post in here! That truly means a lot to me and I appreciate it💗 I hope you have a wonderful month ahead and good luck with all your goals!

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    1. Ah thank you Brianna! You’re so sweet and are such a pure soul omg ❤ I’m so happy you’re loving your HP audio reread, it really is the best! Are you listening to the Jim Dale Version or the Stephen Fry version? I hope you enjoy Daisy Jones if you pick it up, it really is a great book. Your post was wonderful, ofc I had to share it ❤ I hope you have a wonderful month filled with good vibes and love, and have the happiest of reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awww thank you so much, and same goes to you!! 💞 I’m listening to the Jim Dale version and it’s seriously SO good. Also ahh I really hope to get to Daisy Jones by next month – I can’t WAIT. I hope you have a wonderful June as well, thank youuuu!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I haven’t listened to the Jim Dale versions (I’ve only listened to the Stephen Fry versions because ~international reader things~, but Fry’s narration was A+. I’d love to listen to Jim Dale’s narration ASAP! I can’t wait to read your thoughts on Daisy Jones. Sending you all the love for June, Brianna! ❤

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  7. Oh my gosh you read so many books, whoaaa that’s amazing and I’m so happy for you!! I totally had an overachieving tbr (like… fifteen books) and guess how many I read?? Like, five. RIP ME. Anyways, I’m nervous of your criticisms of Stronger Than a Bronze Dragon?? IT LOOKS SO GOOD and the publisher sent me a copy sooo hopefully… I’ll enjoy the pacing??

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    1. Ah I try haha! Going on hiatus certainly upped this number ngl. Five books is still great and I’m really proud of you! STABD is good and I did enjoy it, and I think that lots of other people will enjoy it too, which will hopefully include you 😊 I hope you love it and I hope you have the happiest of reading ❤

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  8. Taasia, it’s so great to have you back! I’m glad your exams season is over, and I know how stressful this time can be. I used to get sick all the time during exam week, which was so annoying, because I couldn’t study and battle a fever at the same time bUT I HAD TO. Ugh. I’m glad I don’t have a single exam season now I’m in college; each class has a test at different days, so even though it’s still a lot of work, it feels less overwhelming. I’m wishing you luck on your results; I’m sure they’ll come out a lot better than you expect. 💛
    It seems like May was an amazing reading month! I was so busy this past month that I felt like I could barely enjoy all the books I was reading; but I’m glad that despise all the work you had, you still enjoyed a lot the titles you picked up. I’m super excited to read A Very Large Expanse of the Sea and I’m so happy you enjoyed this one as well. I just came from reading Red, White & Royal Blue and though I wasn’t the biggest fan of it, it put me in the mood for more royal romances, so I’ll consider picking up the Royals duology soon.
    (All the Lorde makes me SO HAPPY. Ribs is my favorite song ever).
    Your goal actually reminded me that I need, desperately, to organize my own space too. Even though I’m a pretty neat person, I’ve been lacking a lot recently too. Hopefully, an organized environment will also help me organize my life? Lol. Let’s hope so!
    I hope you have an amazing June and a great summer! 😌

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    1. Lais, you are truly too kind! I just finished my very last exam yesterday and I am glad it’s over, but am super worried about results day. Getting sick during exams are the WORST, and honestly so much respect to you for being able to do so! I’m so glad you don’t have exam seasons, and I’m honestly so excited for college! I hope results will be okay, but I’m honestly absolutely terrified.

      Ah I wish you had a better reading month, but I’m sure June is going to be great for you! I can’t wait for you to read AVLEOS and to read your thoughts on it. I feel like you’re the first person that hasn’t fallen head over heels for Red, White and Royal Blue. I hope you love the Royals duology if you pick it up though, because they were so fun and fluffy and I loved them. And yes (again) to Lorde. We stan a queen listening to a queen ❤

      Hopefully, we can both organize our spaces better in June! It truly is a struggle (like, how are people so neat and organized? I'm just a chaotic MESS). I hope you also have a wonderful June and an amazing summer, love!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. TAASIA how is it that you blogged more while on hiatus than I did while supposedly back from hiatus??? And ooooh what are your exciting summer plans?? (lol you don’t need to answer if I’m being too nosy, I’m just curious)
    Keeping my fingers crossed for you on exams! ❤
    Ugh it sounds lime you're going through some rough stuff right now. Sending lots of love and positive vibes, and if you ever need someone to talk to feel free to dm me *hugs*

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    1. Ah I tried to schedule some posts, but it did hinder my revision a little. I just procrastinate on life and everything else to blog and to get posts out on time. As for my summer plans, I think I’m going to be doing quite a bit of traveling, which includes going back to see family + friends in Malaysia, which I am beyond the moon about! You are really too sweet ❤

      Exams really were killing me this month, and I'm so happy it's over now. And also, did I tell you I appreciate and love you so much? Because I do, and I'm truly blessed to be able to call you a friend ❤ *sends 10000x virtual hugs back*

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved reading about your goals & life updates! I don’t know too much about IGCSE exams (since I study in the US), but I’m sure everything will turn out well. Kinda jealous how you read so many books during exam season! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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